Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

2017 is now behind us and we now look forward to 2018 with… well, a large degree of creeping dread really.

On Fangs, as I referred to in our holiday post, we’ve had some troubles in the latter half of the year which has somewhat cut our output, but we have continued to follow the genre we love - and analyse it through our lens.

Awesome things 2017
Handmaid’s Tale, American Gods and Sens8 - there was some real awesome here this year, hopefully most will continue. Do I even need to say why these are so awesome? We all know this.

This was the year when I was introduced to the Aislinn mice, HAIL THE INCRYPTID SERIES! Hail! I am HOOKED. This is one of those series I have quickly become creepily obsessed by

Ilona Andrews keeps bringing the awesome, and the Tao Series is a creeping favourite. Other joys game from Daynda Jones, the Glamour Thieves and Calling the Moon Series

Things we’ll Miss 2017
This year has unleashed a certain level of carnage: I’ve honestly lost count of the shows which have ended but most of them, I think, had reached their natural end. Grimm, Vampire Diaries? Yeah… it was time.

I’m going to miss Class, Whoverse, a very diverse cast, intriguing and compelling characters, a layer of darkness and it was just getting into its stride. And we had Quill. Alas, it wasn’t given enough of a chance. I’m going to miss Teen Wolf though I seem to be the only one. Yes it was flawed but I seem alone in thinking the series was actually getting better with each new season. Emerald City was just tragic - I honestly thought this awesome show was guaranteed a renewal - when I saw the low ratings my only comment is: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!

It hasn’t been renewed yet - but I really hope Superstition returns: it worked, raising so many tropes and then handling them with a careful hand. Let’s hope it - and 3% needs to return as well

I have noticed a seeming trend in Urban Fantasy books away from the epic series. Oddly, while tv shows and films are embracing sprawling connected worlds and marathon binge sessions, books seem to be moving more to the one-offs or trilogy formats. A lot of the 6-10-16 book series I’ve read and love are starting to come to an end and the new books I’m picking up are not gearing up for the long haul. Rather than an individual book, I’m missing a concept: I’m missing the idea of these epic series, these amazing worlds I can set up camp in.

Things We’re Happy to Say Goodbye To 2017
The Mist is gone, it’s gone! Oh dear gods it was bad. So very very bad. So terribly awfully bad. Oh my gods it was bad

American Horror Story - yeah I know we’re never fans of this show. But Cult was especially dire, it set whole new levels of awful, it plumbed new depths. I worry that American Horror Story will see this as a challenge next year. We have suffered enough!

Zoo has also left us - and honestly it was so bad at the end I was almost enjoying this nonsense. I think I took the series even less serious attention than the writers were!

Looking forward to 2018
Well we’ve definitely got some positive shows to look to: Doctor Who has a new Doctor and the first female Doctor which we definitely want to follow. We have the continuation of Star Trek: Discovery which has expanded on Star Trek’s original commitment to some diversity. Z Nation with its zaniness is also a surprisingly compelling show led by an awesome Black woman.

I can’t say there are a lot of new shows on my radar at the moment - I definitely am intrigued by A Discovery of Witches and there’s no way I will be anything but excited by a Good Omens adaptation but there’s not a lot more pinging my radar - by all means bring your suggestions to the comments

For books, bring me your epics! Bring me your sprawling 20 book series! Bring me your connected worlds and multiple series in one settings and book series that will take me years to catch up! Bring me your Hollows and Kate Daniels and Otherworld, bring me your Magnificent Devices, Kara Gillian, White Trash Zombie, bring on The Guildhunters, Psy/Changeling, Rivers of London, Dresden Files, October Daye: bring me the epics in all their glory!

I am seeing some more marginalised main characters but not so many protagonists - especially with Own Voice authors; so these are definitely eagerly what I’m always hunting

One thing I do want to see more in 2018 is more meaningful inclusion. While representation in our shows and books has generally increased in numbers, it has not necessarily increased in depth. Most minority characters occupy side roles, bit parts, supporting cast; they exist to tick a diverse box but not really be a compelling element of the series. They could be removed - or, alternative, could easily be replaced by a non-minority without appreciably changing their story, the story of the series or changing their character’s growth. It’s an odd kind of erasure that shows a minority presence while continuing to ignore the reality of minority lives. Similarly we have a growing number of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it portrayals which become more prevalent the more prominent the character is. It’s time for the next step - for there to be a number of minority characters and for that to actually inform their characters, to be seen as an opportunity for storytelling rather than an obstacle; to define a character as more than just a marginalised person but also not to do our utmost to remove that from their characterisation.